Update – 03/24

March 24th, 2011

Howdy from sunny Okinawa!

(Note: above sentence is not true for all definitions of “sunny” – it has been chilly and rainy for the last three days)

So, as the first sentence can probably clue you in, we are not in Tokyo right now. We didn’t leave Tokyo because we believed the situation there was dangerous, but because we believed that if the situation became dangerous, everyone would try to leave, making it impossible to leave, so we decided to beat the crowd.

As far as “why Okinawa”, again, it wasn’t because we believed that we needed to get this far away from Tokyo, but, unlike many of our friends who know folks in other parts of Japan they can crash with, the only folks I know are in Kyushu, and don’t have places big enough to fit our whole family. So if we were going to leave Tokyo and stay in a hotel (more on that in a second), we might as well go somewhere that we would have wanted to go anyway.

So we’re in Okinawa, staying in a Youth Hostel (Note: Japanese youth hostels have no age restriction, so they’re really just “people hostels”). Today, we’re going to rent a car and travel up to northern Okinawa to see the sights, and we’ll be coming back to southern Okinawa on Monday. The Youth Hostel lodging is pretty cheap (6,000 yen or so, which is around$75 at current rates, for the whole family). The place we’re going up north is even cheaper, at $50 a night. Plus, unlike the hostel, the place up north has a shared kitchen we can use, so we can eat cheap as well.

Anyway, I’ll give a proper trip report after I get back.

On to the news, I just wanted to share some links for folks (especially my mom. Hi, mom!)

Yes, the news about the water in Tokyo is scary scary. 200 bq/l. If that number keeps rising, I will be quite worried. Also, if they find significant amounts of isotopes other than iodine, I will be worried (I131 has a half-life of 8 days, so if there were no more I131 added, the radiation level would reach acceptable levels (100bq/l) in 8 days). That said:

http://twitter.com/TimeOutTokyo/status/50444560484155392

Radiation dose chart:

http://xkcd.com/radiation/

So I vacillate between getting really worried, and then finding information that points out that my worries are, though perhaps not unfounded, at the least premature.

So there’s my update.

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